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See more synonyms for causative on Thesaurus.com
  1. acting as a cause; producing (often followed by of): a causative agency; an event causative of war.
  2. Grammar. noting causation. The causative form of to fall is to fell. Gothic -jan is a causative suffix in fulljan “to cause to be full; to fill.”
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  1. Grammar. a word, especially a verb, noting causation, as made in He made me eat the apple.
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Origin of causative

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin causātīvus, equivalent to causāt(us) caused (see causation) + -īvus -ive
Related formscaus·a·tive·ly, adverbcaus·a·tive·ness, caus·a·tiv·i·ty, nounin·ter·caus·a·tive, adjectivenon·caus·a·tive, adjectivenon·caus·a·tive·ly, adverbnon·caus·a·tive·ness, nounun·caus·a·tive, adjectiveun·caus·a·tive·ly, adverbun·caus·a·tive·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for causative

ingenious, imaginative, gifted, innovative, original, resourceful, seminal, unusual, inventive, unconventional, creative, novel, sensitive, formative, ready, quick, envisioning, devising, adroit, artistic

Examples from the Web for causative

Historical Examples of causative

  • It is difficult to determine the causative factors for success or failure.

    A Practical Guide to Self-Hypnosis

    Melvin Powers

  • The word 'hatta' means 'until,' and is also used as a causative word.

  • This explains the modern belief that principles are causative.


    William Graham Sumner

  • The causative agent has not been satisfactorily established.

    Special Report on Diseases of the Horse

    United States Department of Agriculture

  • They must indeed be recognized as true, primary, causative and the like.

British Dictionary definitions for causative


  1. grammar relating to a form or class of verbs, such as persuade, that express causation
  2. (often postpositive and foll by of) producing an effect
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  1. the causative form or class of verbs
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Derived Formscausatively, adverbcausativeness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for causative


early 15c. (as a noun), from French causatif, from Latin causativus, from causa (see cause (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper